Sustainable laundry practices have convinced us to be mindful of the products we use on our laundry loads.
It’s great news that plant-based detergents have become a growing trend in household cleaning products.
These detergents are made from natural plants and minerals, rather than harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances.
Using plant-based laundry detergent has several benefits over commercial detergents.
Why Shift from Commercial to Plant-based?
Commercial laundry detergent is less of a hassle, but if you check its label, you are exposing yourself and the environment to harsh chemicals.
These chemicals are not easily removed after rinsing the clothes. Plant-based laundry detergents are kinder to our skin and the environment.
Commercial laundry has a range of harmful chemicals that irritates your sensitive skin and pollutes the waterways that disrupt the ecosystem.
These are free from irritants and cruelty. Several commercial laundry detergents are tested on animals, while these are not.
Choosing to support plant-based laundry products or creating your non-toxic plant-based laundry detergent at home frees you from the guilt.
It use natural ingredients that have the same cleaning effect as commercial detergents but are gentler on the skin.
Not only it protects your skin, but your wallet as well. Making plant-based and non-toxic detergents at home is way cheaper than commercial detergents.
Moreover, preparing a DIY detergent at home does not take longer than 10 minutes.
If this has grown you more curious, check out the common plants used for natural laundry detergent and how easy it is to make. Read More, Laundry in freezing weather.
Common Plants Used for Plant-Based Laundry Detergent
There is a wide selection of plants that you can use for your plant-based laundry detergent, so let’s focus on the common ones used.
- Castile soap: This is made from olive oil and is often the base for homemade plant-based laundry detergents. It is a gentle and biodegradable option to traditional laundry detergents.
- Eucalyptus: A natural disinfectant that can kill germs and bacteria on your laundry. Many like Eucalyptus because of its fresh and refreshing scent.
- Lavender: Another natural disinfectant that helps eliminate any bacteria from your laundry. It is known for its soothing properties.
- Lemon: This natural ingredient is often used for whitening and is best in removing grease and grime. If you love adding a fresh and citrus scent to your cleaned clothes, this is the best option.
- Tea Tree: An antiseptic that removes tough stains and odors. If you have a soiled and smelly batch of laundry detergent, using a DIY laundry detergent made from a tea tree is excellent.
When you select a plant to use for your laundry detergent, it is essential to choose a safe, biodegradable, and free from harsh chemicals. You can choose from having a bar soap or a pre-made soap base. Know more about laundry symbols.
What Ingredients to Avoid in Detergents?
You can purchase a pre-made soap base, but when you purchase a natural soap, make sure that it does not contain these ingredients:
- Sulfates: Harsh detergents that can irritate the skin and damage clothing fibers.
- Phosphates: Often added to laundry detergents to enhance cleaning power, but they are harmful to the environment and can contribute to the growth of toxic algae in waterways.
- Artificial fragrances and dyes: Cause skin irritation and allergies, and can also harm the environment.
- Chlorine bleach is Harsh chemical that can damage clothing fibers and cause skin irritation. It is also toxic to the environment.
- Petroleum-based ingredients: Harmful to the environment and are not biodegradable.
- Formaldehyde: A carcinogenic chemical that is often added to laundry detergents as a preservative. It is also a skin irritant and can cause respiratory problems.
Buying a pre-made soap base skips the tedious process of grating a whole soap. It is essential to be curious about the ingredients when choosing a natural soap for your laundry detergent. Avoiding these harmful ingredients helps protect your health and the environment. Know, buying laundry detergent with an OTC card.
How to Make Plant-Based Laundry Detergent
Making a plant-based laundry detergent does not require much effort, but it has to be done carefully to ensure you will have an effective one.
Gather these ingredients to start with your detergent:
- 1 cup natural, unscented grated soap
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup baking soda
- 10 to 15 drops of essential oil; this ingredient is optional
Do not forget to prepare these materials:
- Cheese grater or food processor
- Large mixing bowl
- Airtight container
Now that you have the needed ingredients and materials, follow these steps to make your plant-based detergent:
- Ensure that you have grated the soap into fine shavings. If this is still undone, use a cheese grater or food processor to have a fine shave.
- Grab a large mixing bowl and combine the dry ingredients (grated soap, washing soda, and baking soda).
- Stir the dry ingredients together until it is well-combined.
- If you have essential oil, add 10 to 15 drops to give your plant-based laundry detergent fragrance.
- Place the soap mixture in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place.
You are done making your DIY detergent! Add 2 tablespoons of detergent to your washing machine with each laundry load.
However, if you are shifting to plant-based or natural ingredients laundry detergent, this is a concern for those who rely on laundry delivery services.
Some ingredients may leave residue or buildup in the washing machine. With this issue, it is best to ask the management of the laundry service first if using a DIY laundry detergent is acceptable. A reputable laundry service is open to suggestions. Hence, do not hesitate to approach your concerns.
Making your non-toxic detergents with plant-based ingredients is a satisfying way to save money and practice sustainable laundry. So, if you’re looking to make a change to your household cleaning routine, consider switching to a plant-based laundry detergent.
However, if you depend on laundromats, you must first check with their management about their policy on using DIY detergents. Also read about checking laundry card balance online.